Thursday, August 27, 2015
Breakfast croissant plate featuring two types of almond croissants and a regular butter croissant for Seline, plus a piece of seedy cereal bread that she smothered with garlic cream cheese.
Surprisingly, the random little corner bakery made a WAY better almond croissant than the legendary, celebrated Eric Kayser bakery, in my opinion. Buttery, almond-y, with the right amount of crispiness on the outsides, I accidentally ate 1.5 croissants 😛
We left early for the Louvre by taking the 7:30 bus. We arrived at 8:45 and waited for 15 minutes in the rain before being let into the famous museum. We played 20 Questions 🙂
This is what the legendary glass pyramid looks like underground! The Louvre is a MASSIVE museum, unlike anything you could imagine. There are three sections: Richelieu, Sully, and Denon. Each section has four stories and multiple wings. If you’re an art person, you could easily spend 5-7 DAYS in the Louvre.
Our first destination was the Mona Lisa (AKA Home Dawg Monz, according to Seline), but we followed the crowd to the Winged Victory on our way to Leonardo DaVinci’s room. The Winged Victory was very pretty! Since we came at opening time, the museum was not packed as it usually is.
What you think you’ll see VS what you actually see 😀
Then we came to the Mona Lisa room! OMG.
There was quite a crowd, but usually the entire room is PACKED with people elbowing one another. This was at about 9:10 – just ten minutes after opening time!
This is my favourite picture. It was really interesting (humbling? Invigorating?) to see the Mona Lisa, live, in person. Amazing.
African, Mediterranean, and Oceanic art were fascinating. I don’t even like art and I found this place very cool.
Some pieces were creepy! I liked this Easter Island head.
This section of the museum was quiet. We were some of the only visitors here, which made it very enjoyable. 🙂
I really liked the Renaissance art and paintings of Napoleon. Napoleon is awesome. My sister and I have so many inside jokes about him and I have no idea why. But he’s a cool guy and the paintings of him portrayed him very majestically.
The Islamic Art section featured so many beautiful plates. This one was my favourite. Can you believe these are hundreds of years old?
Check out this ancient Indian teapot. It was one of my favourite things in the museum. I love gold, I love turquoise, and I adore beads and birds. I want one!
Kind of weird how this painting looks like Seline :O Right? Am I the only one who sees the resemblance?
The Medieval Louvre was special, too. Did you know that this museum was originally a fortress?
This was the Sphinx! For some reason, it reminds me of my pet (lab retriever), Arnie. Not sure if that’s good or bad 😛
Check out this ancient jewelry and these spoons!
According to Seline, these mummies are fake and stuffed with cotton for show 😉
I’d say the Egyptian section was my absolute favourite, next to “Homie Dawg Lisa”.
Actually, the Greek art was very fun to look at too.
We also made a HUGE effort to see the Venus de Milo, or Michelangelo’s Aphrodite sculpture. We got lost for about 45 minutes trying to find this! By then, there were quite a lot of people in the museum and a busy crowd in front of the statue. I’d hate to be a statue 😛
On our way out, we realized that the line stretched around the entire perimeter of the glass pyramid. Can you see the line in the second photo? I was suddenly so thankful that we arrived early! We left the Louvre a little after 12:15 – we were pretty exhausted after three hours of walking around. There are lots of stairs and hallways here.
We headed to Bistrot Richelieu for lunch. I did some research into restaurants near the Louvre and many recommended this classic French bistro. They are known for great meals at low prices.
After a 15-minute walk in the rain, we were very happy to see that this wonderful place was open (thankfully!). Our waiter was very perky, attentive, and kind.
I ordered from the Daily Menu, which was an ENTREE (starter) with a PLAT (main dish) for 16 Euros. The starter was vegetable soup, and the main dish – well, you’ll see. This vegetable soup was one of the best I’ve ever had. Made with potatoes, carrot, onions, spinach, and topped with bread, olive oil, and herbs. I had this with a hunk of sourdough.
Seline just had a PLAT, which is a main dish. Her steak-frites cost 16 Euros as well. It was barely cooked and served with crispy French fries. The meat itself was very flavourful, but red and quite bloody inside. I tried a bite and liked the onions and herbs here. Meat still isn’t my thing, though. Yummy with fries 🙂
My entree was the PLAT DU JOUR, which is the daily main dish. Today’s was a “filet de perche”, a type of fish served on sauteed leeks, with a caramelized tomato and creamy herb sauce. I really liked this – would’ve been better with some quinoa though, I think. The lemon complemented the savoury leeks and tender fish.
Seline and I both loved our meals!
Before – and after! 😀 I mopped up every drop of lemon herb sauce with the bread.
For dessert, Seline had a scoop of vanilla ice cream while I ordered the creme brulee. Check out the surface area of this guy!
Both desserts were beautiful. I LOVE CREME BRULEE! Sorry for the capitals – I just get so excited about desserts. Especially ones topped with crunchy, caramelized sugar and studded with real vanilla beans.
The crispy exterior was hard and had the perfect creme brulee flavour, but I loved the custardy middle even more. It was perfectly soft, creamy, and had a strong (but not overwhelming) vanilla taste. This was one of the best desserts I’ve had in my life 😀 Definitely in the Top 5! I was eating so quickly because it was so good, but stopped to savour it halfway through. It was HEAVENLY.
When we got home at 3:00, it was still too early to go into the house (no one home) so we headed to the nearby bakery. It was raining too hard for us to wait outside, and the bakery was nice and cozy.
Seline bought a bag of twelve choquettes, which are hollow sugar pastries. We had a good time laughing, watching videos, and planning our last couple of days in France. We stayed here for over two hours. Time flew by and soon we were back in our cozy home 🙂
Dinner featured escargots as our starter. Maggie showed us how to use a special clip to hold the shells and tease out the meat with a little fork. I think I mentioned this before, but escargot (snails) taste like mussels soaked in garlic butter. I had five! They were yummy with bread.
Then we had pasta! I helped make this creamy mushroom tagliatelle topped with a raw egg yolk and sheep’s parmesan (unpictured, but I added LOTS!). These special mushrooms were sauteed in cooking oil and butter with garlic before we added creme fraiche, salt, and pepper.
The individual flavours stood out a lot, and the egg yolk added creaminess and richness.
This was one of my Top 3 favourite days in Paris. Hopefully the next four days will be equally fun and exciting! Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!